Sunday, December 04, 2011

Pigs Outside!

As winter nears the number of vendors dwindle at the Headhouse Square Farmers' Market operated by the Food Trust. But that negative can be a positive: producers who can't get in during the height of the season can get a space.

That was the case today for Stryker Farm of Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, which raises heritage breed pigs and meat goats. Young farmer Nolan Thevenet is new to farming, but he's enthusiastic. Because I had picked up enough meat for the week at the Reading Terminal yesterday, I abstained from indulging in pure pigmeat from Nolan, but couldn't resist picking up some scrapple.

Stryker Farms' scrapple, Nolan says, isn't made from innards like liver and heart, as is traditional, but from scrap meat, including jowls. Now, I have no objection to the innards in my scrapple, indeed, if you're going to keep it historic that's the way to go, adding a bit of livery savoriness. Still, I can't wait to fry up a couple slices tomorrow morning.

The farm raises their pigs out of doors and lets them forage in the fields and woods, supplementing their diet in winter with barley and grass feed, not corn. Like many heritage pig farmers Stryker Farm uses a Tamworth cross (in this case with Hereford), though Nolan said he'd like to get some Berkshire into his piggies' bloodlines.

Nolan plans to be at the final two Headhouse markets this season (the next two Sundays) and hopes to get a spot next season as well.

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